Lust before law: Israel’s top rabbis ignore legal boundaries, encourage polygamy

A Jewish bride sits next to her groom during the Mitzvah Tans dance ritual following their wedding in an ultra-orthodox neighbourhood in Jerusalem. (AFP/File)
A Jewish bride sits next to her groom during the Mitzvah Tans dance ritual following their wedding in an ultra-orthodox neighbourhood in Jerusalem. (AFP/File)

Each year, a number of Israeli rabbis affiliated with the rabbinate give permission for dozens of Orthodox Jewish men to take a second wife, despite the fact that polygamy is illegal under state law, an expose by Channel 10 television revealed.

An organization catering primarily to the Jewish Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities actively encourages and facilitates polygamy, claiming the practice will help reduce the number of single women within their communities and at the same time give Jews an edge in the demographic race against Arabs in Israel.

On its Hebrew website, the group, called “The Complete Jewish Home” have collated responsa from rabbis over the past 800 years, which discuss whether or not polygamy is permitted in practice under Jewish law.

The organization also holds regular parlor meetings for couples looking for an extra wife to join the family, Channel 10 found. Reportedly the majority of these second wives are women who did not grow up in the Orthodox community but joined it later in life and are struggling to find a spouse.

MORE:

http://www.albawaba.com/editorchoice/lust-law-israel%E2%80%99s-top-rabbis-ignore-legal-boundaries-encourage-polygamy-919256

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